ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF)
Outcome of 15th Session of ASEAN Regional Forum
Sergey Lavrov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, on July 24 in Singapore took part in the 15th anniversary session of the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF). This one of the major mechanisms of creating a comprehensive security system in the AP region incorporates twenty-six countries, including Russia, the PRC, United States, Japan, India, Pakistan, the ASEAN nations, and the European Union.
The focus of attention was themes relating to the maintenance of peace and stability in the region. Such topical themes as cooperation in emergency response, the Korean Peninsula nuclear problem, Iran's "nuclear dossier," the situation in Iraq and Afghanistan, and Middle East settlement were substantively examined.
Questions of building up regional cooperation in the struggle against traditional and new challenges in the area of security were thoroughly discussed. The participants welcomed Russia's bid for the co-chairmanship of the ARF Inter-sessional Meeting on Counter-Terrorism and Transnational Crime in 2010. Backing was given to Russia's proposal to define as a priority area of work in the framework of this mechanism the ensuring of security of supplies of energy resources and the counterterrorist protection of energy infrastructure.
The necessity was stressed of coordinating approaches towards the further evolution of the Forum. It is borne in mind to develop and adopt an ARF 2020 Vision, a document that will define the main areas, forms and methods of practical cooperation for the long term.
New lines of ARF activity will include ARF Inter-sessional Meetings on Nonproliferation and Disarmament and on Maritime Security. Aimed at deepening joint work are the ARF Statement on Promoting Collaboration on the Prevention of Diversion of Precursors into Illicit Drug Manufacture, and the decisions on the preparation of a Cooperation Work Plan on Counter-Terrorism and Transnational Crime and on the creation of a mechanism of ARF experts' meetings on cyber security and counter-cyberterrorism.
The next ARF meeting at the level of foreign ministers will be held in Bangkok in July 2009.
July 24, 2008